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  • Writer's pictureThe Sharp Notes Editor

Michael McDonald Tells You Exactly What a Fool Believes

Co-Written With Paul Reiser, McDonald will release What a Fool Believes: A Memoir on May 21, 2024


From Press Release


Singer/songwriter, five-time Grammy Award winner and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Michael McDonald confirms the release of What a Fool Believes: A Memoir—written with actor, comedian and author Paul Reiser—via Dey Street Books on May 21.


Interwoven with tales from his career and a cast of music greats including James Taylor, Ray Charles, Carly Simon and Quincy Jones, What a Fool Believes finds McDonald reckoning with the unshakeable insecurities that drove him and the highs and lows of fame and popularity. Along the way he relays the lessons he learned.


Co-authors McDonald and Reiser first crossed paths at a party a number of years ago. McDonald was aware of Reiser’s work as an actor and bestselling author, but that night he learned of Paul’s love for music and his own skill as a pianist and songwriter. Reiser invited McDonald to his home studio; the two ended up jamming into the wee hours and a friendship was born. It was Reiser who convinced McDonald that he needed to tell his story.


A member of the Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan as well as a chart-topping solo artist and collaborator with some of the biggest names in music, McDonald’s unmistakably smooth baritone voice defined an era of popular music with hits like “What A Fool Believes,” “Takin’ It to the Streets,” “I Keep Forgettin’,” “It Keeps You Running,” “You Belong to Me,” the James Ingraham duet “Yah Mo B There,” the Patti LaBelle duet “On My Own” and many more. Hailing from Ferguson, Missouri, McDonald chased his musical dreams in 1970’s California. As a rising session musician and backing vocalist, a series of encounters sent him on a wild ride around the world and to the heights of rock stardom.


The Doobie Brothers Minute By Minute Vinyl Album Cover
Who did they decide to place in the center of the photo?

Fun Facts About Michael McDonald

Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Michael McDonald’s career encompasses five Grammys, countless platinum hits and chart successes. After being an integral part of Steely Dan, McDonald was invited to join the Doobie Brothers as the band redefined their sound with McDonald serving as singer, keyboardist and songwriter on numerous Top 40 singles. Throughout the ’80s and ’90s McDonald’s solo career took off with a string of hits including “I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near),” “Sweet Freedom,” “On My Own” (with Patti LaBelle), and the Grammy-winning James Ingram duet “Yah Mo B There.” McDonald has performed with a who’s-who of critically acclaimed artists including Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Elton John, Joni Mitchell, Willie Nelson, Jackson Browne, Vince Gill, Thundercat, Solange Knowles and Grizzly Bear.


Fun Facts About Paul Reiser

Paul Reiser is a comedian, Emmy Award-nominated actor, screenwriter and #1 New York Times bestselling author. Reiser has recently appeared in Netflix’s “Stranger Things” and “The Kominsky Method” as well as Hulu’s critically-acclaimed comedy “Reboot” and Amazon’s “The Boys.” Reiser created and starred (along with Helen Hunt) in the long-running hit 90s comedy “Mad About You” and has appeared in classic films like Diner, Aliens, the Beverly Hills Cop franchise and Whiplash. His latest film The Problem With People, which he wrote, starred in and produced, is slated to hit theaters early 2024. Reiser is the author of the bestselling books CouplehoodBabyhood and Familyhood.

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